First black Marines honored





 

Today Congress took a step to right an injustice.

They awarded the Congressional Gold Medal -- the highest civilian honor -- to the Montford Point Marines, the first African-Americans to serve in the corps. Their sacrifices were long overlooked.

In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the Marines to accept African Americans. For the next eight years they served in black-only units -- commanded by white officers -- and they trained on a segregated base in a Jacksonville, North Carolina called Montford Point.

"I realized from the beginning what we were doing, what was happening was historic, and it was going to be a part of history, part of the changing up of America," Carter said.

But black Marines were prohibited from serving in combat roles.

 


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